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‘Playing by the Rules: The 2009 MPs’ Expenses Scandal’

vanHeerde-Hudson, J; (2011) ‘Playing by the Rules: The 2009 MPs’ Expenses Scandal’. In: Political Communications. Palgrave: Basingstoke. (In press).

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Abstract

In May 2009, revelations by The Telegraph on MPs’ expenses triggered one of the biggest scandals in Parliamentary history. This paper asks three questions: first, do claims differ systematically by party, seniority, electoral security or gender; second, what factors explain variation in expenses claims; and third, given the widespread nature of ‘abuse’ documented by the Telegraph, what factors explain why many but not all MPs ‘fiddled’ their expenses? Using individual and aggregate level data for MPs sitting in the 2005-10 Parliament, I test two general explanations, institutional and individual. The results show differences in average claims by party, gender, seniority and electoral security. Although age, Labour party membership and electoral security are related to average total claims, an MP’s wealth and seniority are predictors of ‘abuse’ of parliamentary allowances.

Type:Book chapter
Title:‘Playing by the Rules: The 2009 MPs’ Expenses Scandal’
Keywords:MPs Expenses, Scandal, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative Parties, Correlates of Claims
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Political Science

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